In 2003, Pixar released Finding Nemo, a beloved animated film that depicted life in the ocean and introduced audiences to a diverse cast of clownfish and sea creatures based on real-life animals. While the movie is known for its heartwarming story and (somewhat) accurate depiction of life in the ocean, the film also has a tragic opening scene where Coral, Marlin’s mate and mother of Nemo, is eaten by a barracuda in the beginning of the film.
Throughout the rest of the movie, viewers watch as Marlin struggles with his grief over losing his wife and mother to the sea. The movie does a great job at highlighting how people grieve in different ways and how it’s important to remember the loved ones who have passed away, even though they may not be there anymore.
At the end of the film, viewers are also introduced to Dory, a fish who lost her own father and has been looking for him ever since. The two bond over their losses and become fast friends. Dory helps bring Nemo home and Marlin tries to keep his son safe.
What many people may not realize is that the death of Coral in the beginning of Finding Nemo is a realistic depiction of what could actually happen to a parent in an ocean ecosystem. In a recent article published by Business Insider, a fish biologist explains how it’s actually quite common for female clownfish to die after the dominant male is eaten by a predator or eats too much food. This happens when the female’s eggs are being threatened by another animal and the mother tries to protect them.